Tell me, is that tax-deductible?

Two white Cadillac Escalade limos, as long and cavernous as whales, sit outside the hotel, their engines running.

And running.

Inside their leather-lined bellies Justin Timberlake is getting his sexy back, while multi-colored running lights flash to the beat. I walk by them once, my heckles raised, but I keep quiet. When I walk back towards the lobby the driver/owner makes the mistake of approaching me with a brochure.

Let me ask you a question, I say.

Mr. Limo-man smiles widely, thinking I'm a potential sucker about to succumb to the basic female need to spend exorbitant amounts of money on pimp-my-wedding nuptials. (Do you take this debt to be your lawfully wedded downfall? I do.)

Why do you need to keep them running? You're wasting so much gas.

It's so people can see what they're like inside... You must be extremely Green.

His inflection and slight snarl tells me he did not intend to flatter.

Yup, you got me, I'm one of those. I recycle, I used cloth diapers (in guilt-ridden stints), I walk to work (when it's not raining, snowing, too hot, or too late), and I even keep food scraps in a bin on my counter until it overflows and I am forced to throw it on the mound of rotten gloop we like to call the compost pile. However, I can't claim to be "extremely" anything, and definitely not Extremely Green. I'm more pastel mint. But, forgive me if I have a problem with two cars with engines bigger than a dump truck's idling for hours for the soul purpose of advertisement. A bride-to-be can still be sucked into renting a mobile disco hall whether Justin is humping the sound system or not.

No, I stammer, just conscientious. It just irritates me. I had to say something.

I wouldn't win any debating awards).

As I drive away in my compact car with the green Vermont license plate (I was in New Jersey) I think of all the things I could have said. So, here's how it should have gone down:

Hey, slick, what's with the TWO carnival cruise boats spouting fumes and attitude? And, oh, thank YOU for your personal contribution to our addiction to foreign fuel. Oh, you're just promoting your business? Ah, polluting the environment is a business expense, then? How exactly do you claim that on your taxes?

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Sponge, Overdone

I learned a valuable lesson today... write every little idea down!

Last week I had a brilliant idea for an article (I will contend it was brilliant because no one will have the opportunity to dispute that fact). It was sufficiently controversial (dreamed up in a moment of parental distress) to be of possible interest to a magazine like Brain, Child - that's the dream I was reveling in anyway. I told my husband I had this idea and I wrote it in my journal - problem is I didn't tell him (he wouldn't remember even if I had told him) or write down what the idea was, just that I had one. Duh!

I have tried to remember where I was or what I was doing (or, most likely, what the kids were doing) when the muse struck me, but I can't even recall that. I have tried to recreate the moment when I was writing, "I have an idea for an article" in my journal hoping that would prompt some synapse to fire. I have tried stream of consciousness writing willing it to arrive on the page. But no, it's gone. Gone.

So, my dear fellow writers, WRITE IT DOWN! I trusted my over-saturated brain with one tidbit too many and now Brain, Child will never have the chance to publish the best article they never received.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Toddler OCD*

This morning Tator refused to take a bath. After I wrestled him out of his pajamas I lifted him over the water. You'd think I was lowering him into a vat of vipers. He hung there, his little legs in a rigid squat position and voice at full throttle. But I was determined that that stinky butt was going to make contact with water and at least a lick of soap. While attempting to ignore the screams of desperation and dodge the flaying arms, I threw a wash cloth around his privates and called it a wash.

Three hours later as I was preparing to leave the house, I heard a distinctive slosh. I had neglected to empty the tub earlier and now Tator was apparently ready to take bath. In the bathroom I find him with one leg over the side of the tub and his slippered foot and sweat-panted leg submerged up to the knee.

I have noticed something about my two-year old; he likes things done a certain way. (Oh, I know, every two-year old is particular, usually incensingly particular, and of course, only with the things they think are important). The wheel has to go back on the truck even though it is broken and therefore impossible to put back, the bowl has to go back in the cupboard even though it is caked with oatmeal, and the straw has to go back in the cup despite the fact it just fell on the restaurant floor. Well, apparently, if one slipper is wet, it is required that the other one be so.

Out comes one dripping wet red, corduroy bootie, he turns himself around and steps in with the other. Satisfied with the result, Tator then removes the saturated articles and flings them across the room where they slap against, and down, the wall.

The moral: If your toddler suddenly expresses distaste for something he loved just the night before, whatever it might be, just leave it out on the table, in the tub, or on the floor and vacate the premises. Sure as shooting, he will find some way to use the offending something to his own purposes. You can pretend the result was your original intent. This self-delusion is very helpful when attempting to control your anxiety.

Those slippers - and the wall - needed washing anyway.

* The therapists in my family have insisted I put a disclaimer on this post: A child who has to put both slippers in the tub is not OCD and should not be in anyway construed as such.

Stumble Upon Toolbar



White River Junction, Vermont... Click here for details

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tale of Two Couples (pt 7)

"I'm the bitch?"

It doesn't take too much imagination to guess that K was not very happy when she learned that B and I had hooked up. The word on the street was that she was accusing me of stealing him from her. Can you say delusional? Even if I had had my eye on him before my birthday party (which I hadn't) S certainly knew I had eyes for no one but him. In fact, at that very party, two months after our break up, I was still pining over him - yes, I was an idiot - so much so that I had asked him to come to my room to listen to a poem I had written for him... and the idiot factor goes up another notch.

At this point K and S were still denying any romantic involvement. A couple months later though, they had indeed publicly proclaimed their love. Technically - and if they had any manners at all, which we know they didn't - they should have been thanking us for giving them the freedom to pursue their unrequited love. But the mail-man delivered no heart-covered thank you notes to our door. Instead we were dissed. And dissed big.

One morning I was walking downtown on my way to somewhere important, and here coming towards me was the happy couple, hand in hand. As I got closer they suddenly turned and pretended to be thoroughly engaged in a window display of baby dolls. On another occasion, of all the restaurants in town and all the times to eat, both couples show up at the same place at the same moment. The waiting area of this particular establishment was tiny and there we were crammed in together, red-faced and speechless. They turned and fled.

The most difficult part for me was when mutual friends also gave us the cold shoulder. The very friends who knew what was going on before the break-up. The innocent became criminal. B was being touted as an abuser ("I could hear him yelling at her through the wall,"** and "It was just a matter of time before he hit her."). If anyone has ever met B they know he is just a big, compassion-stuffed teddy bear. Yes, he was a marine, but he also whispers sweet nothings to animals - even the tail-less goldfish - and cherishes people in a way that makes them feel nothing if not loved. Of course, this situation had made him angry but not that angry. And I, who had offered my home (and heart) to a hurt, homeless man was a slut and a bitch.

Since S and I had broken up, one male (let's call him M) in this group of former friends had become attentive to me. It began in July when we were all staying (stuck) in a cabin in NH and S and I decided, at last, to call it quits. M offered me a shoulder to cry on. Thereafter, he would randomly stop by my office to say hello and occasionally meet B and me for lunch. One time I had to stay with him at the hospital when his wife (yes, his wife) was unreachable by phone.

When B left K, it was with this couple with whom B and I went to the Fall Festival. It was this couple who initially "blessed" our potential relationship. In fact, M said he would love to see us together. He also said if S and K hooked up they would be out of his life because it would just prove what we all had guessed long ago.

But apparently reality didn't sit too well with him. B and I got together and eventually so did S and K. He called me things over the phone I can't repeat, physically turned his back on me at a friend's wedding, accused B of being abusive, and continued to worship the Almighty K.

When B asked me to marry him I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but I didn't. No engagement announcement in the paper, no formal portrait to show off my ring. The biggest event of my life to date was under the shadow by an unnecessary but powerful shame.

** What wall was he heard through? Well, that would be S's apartment wall. Only a few months after B and K were married, K had secured the next door apartment for S and a roommate (the other comic-book artist). K spent an inordinate amount of time over there "working" on whatever it was they worked on. B would come home to an empty apartment, devoid of his wife, love or warmth.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Just add it to the pile

No, not the laundry pile or the pile of bills; the guilt pile. We all know about the mother of all guilt - mother's guilt. It's an all invasive emotion that rob us of our self-confidence, self-esteem, and "selfish" sojourns in the bathtub when we should be watching them watch a movie, shouldn't we? Well, now I have added another source of funding to my guilt account... my blog and, damn it, your blog too.

I haven't fallen in love with too many blogs out there. I'm afraid to go out and look, frankly. It's too overwhelming to know just how many fish there are in that sea. I have found a few and I am happy with my little collection of blogs who live on the bottom of this page faithfully updating every few days or so. Problem is, I can't give even these few my full attention. My first love, this blog, is even feeling my the effects of my distraction... and the guilt, oh, the guilt!

I had a new year's goal of updating this blog at least twice a week and having a blog-reading session once a week. Well, haha. I feel that I have a responsibility to those I have added to my blogroll. I'd want them to keep up with my blog (I'd really feel bad if they missed out on one of my daily, um, I mean tri-weekly gems) and it only seems right to reciprocate, especially when some have even openly expressed their blog-love to me. What right do I have to spurn them?

But I have to admit, I have filled my little black book too full. Trying to start a business while working part-time, mothering full-time and writing in-between-time is more than this cassanov-ette can handle.

This blog was my refuge in the beginning, where I'd come for some self-indulgent me-love. But now, six months on, it's seeming a little needy, pulling on my time like everything and one else in my life.

And the rest of you... staring at me from my blogroll, with your big, tempting titles, making me wish I could click on you... I resist! For now, my hamper is the only place you're going to get dirty laundry on me. But I still feel guilty and I promise to come visit real soon.

Stumble Upon Toolbar